We have now completed our reading of the Act One in King Lear. We will now begin to explore the first act through a series of individual students tasks.
They will publish these tasks on their own personal blogs.
The Plot Timeline
Looking back on Act One, make a timeline that identifies the major highlights of the action. Ensure that any events you include are significant and that you have explained what happened in them substantially.
As per the last blog post, complete the task of describing at least 3 instances of dramatic irony in the first act. You can refresh your knowledge here.
Keeping Track of the Action
In order to keep up with the events in the play, answer the following questions. Where you can, use evidence from the play to support your answer.
- At the end of scene 1, Goneril and Regan discuss their father’s behavior. What does this dialogue add to our knowledge of the two sisters, their father and the relationships in the family?
- How does Edmund set his trap for Gloucester and Edgar? Is there anything in particular that ensures it is successful?
- How does Goneril believe Lear is behaving now he has abdicated his power? What does she intend to do about it (scene 3)?
- Explain the situation in scene 4. What is making Goneril so angry with her father? Do you think that Lear is the victim in this scene? Why/why not?
- What is the fool trying to tell Lear in scene 5?
Shakespeare uses a range of language devices in this opening act. We have already covered dramatic irony. Now think about metaphor. Some of the traits of the characters are developed through this device.
Find 3 examples of metaphor in the first act and explain what they reveal about the character they are directed at.
For the characters below, find a quote in the play that best summarizes their personality and agenda so far. Explain why you have chosen the quote you have.